Previous Section Index Home Page

Allocation of Resources

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what mechanism the formula for the allocation of resources between health authorities takes account of (a) transient populations and (b) numbers of tourists. [2694]

Mr. Hutton: The formula for setting health authority resource allocation targets is based primarily on resident population. The resident populations are then adjusted to take account of patients registered with general practitioners outside their health authority of residence. These adjusted resident populations are referred to as health authority relevant populations. These exclude transient populations and tourists.

The prescribing component of the formula takes account of temporary residents who register with GPs in addition to relevant populations.

Funding for secondary healthcare for tourists and transient populations that falls outside service agreements is transferred between health authorities through the out-of-area treatment arrangements.

Parking Charges

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much revenue was raised by NHS trusts for car parking charges in financial years (a) 1999 and (b) 2000. [2596]

Mr. Hutton: There is no prescriptive model for the provision and financing of car parking facilities at national health service trusts and not all trusts will raise revenue from car parking charges. Where trusts do raise income from car park charges there is no requirement for it to be separately identified in their annual accounts.

Bed Blocking

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds were blocked in each NHS trust, in each

9 Jul 2001 : Column: 348W

of the last three years, by elderly patients waiting to be transferred to residential care; and if he will make a statement. [2581]

Jacqui Smith: Information on the delayed discharges of patients aged over 75 years is collected from each health authority on a quarterly basis. That information has been collected on a consistent basis for the last two years and has been placed in the Library. The information collected includes the number of patients delayed due to awaiting nursing or residential home placement. In some cases patients will be exercising their right to await a place in a home of their choice.


Human Rights

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he proposes to extend observance of human rights in (a) the Commonwealth and (b) elsewhere. [1835]

Peter Hain: The Government will continue to promote human rights in bilateral and multilateral forums. Among other things, this will include continuing to campaign worldwide for the elimination of torture and the abolition of the death penalty and taking an active part in the forthcoming World Conference Against Racism. At the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Brisbane in October, the Government will try to ensure that the Commonwealth takes an even more active role in promoting human rights. A key element will be trying to expand the remit of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) so that it can recommend action where a Commonwealth member seriously or persistently violates human rights. Currently, CMAG comes into play only when an elected Commonwealth Government have been overthrown.

The hon. Member for Neath

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department received from the South African Government about the hon. Member for Neath (Peter Hain), during his period as a Minister with responsibility for Africa. [1820]

Mr. Bradshaw: The South African Government welcomed my hon. Friend as Minister with responsibility for Africa and granted him access at the highest level. In an exchange of messages with the South Africans earlier this year, the then Foreign Secretary confirmed our appreciation of the candid and collaborative approach between the UK and South Africa, with which my hon. Friend was closely associated, and looked forward to it continuing.

UK Tourists (Assistance)

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the average number of requests for assistance per year from UK tourists to local consular offices and their equivalents was in (a) Florida, (b) Ibiza, (c) Corfu, (d) Barcelona, (e) Benidorm, (f) Majorca, (g) Rhodes, (h) Rome, (i) Paris, (j) Venice, (k) Milan, (l) Dublin, (m) Capri, (n) Tenerife, (o) Cyprus, (p) Nice, (q) Cannes, (r) Boston, (s) Las Vegas,

9 Jul 2001 : Column: 349W

(t) New York, (u) Jerusalem, (v) Los Angeles, (w) Moscow, (x) St. Petersburg, (y) Berlin, (z) Dubai and (aa) Sri Lanka; and what category of assistance was requested in each case. [2108]

Mr. Bradshaw: Our records do not currently allow tourists to be isolated from the total numbers of British citizens seeking assistance at UK missions overseas. However, in the period 1998–2000, the average annual number of requests for assistance (not including simple requests for information) from British citizens to local consular offices and their equivalents was as follows:

Similarly, our records do not currently allow us accurately to break down these numbers into all types of assistance sought. But the types of request we receive can range from assistance with major disasters involving ferries, aircraft, trains, buses and cars; assistance with hospitalisations, deaths, skiing accidents and welfare cases in general; helping the victims of crime including rape, child custody and abduction disputes and kidnapping incidents. We are also asked to help with repatriations and deportations, to help with searches for missing persons, to visit people detained by local authorities, to visit long-term prisoners and to arrange the deposit of funds (e.g. for prison comforts). These cases are the ones which get recorded. However, much of our work involves providing all kinds of information to help British nationals, and this is not recorded. In addition we provide notarial services where required; register marriages, births and deaths; and provide passport issuing facilities.

9 Jul 2001 : Column: 350W

We are currently developing a new centralised consular database, based on one that already has a well-established track record. We hope that, in the future, this will provide a more accurate picture of the full range of tasks we undertake to assist British nationals overseas.

Embassies (Costs)

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost of running each of Her Majesty's embassies, broken down by (a) staff cost, (b) transport costs, (c) premises costs, (d) equipment costs and (e) entertainment and other costs in the last year; and if he will make a statement. [2101]

Mr. MacShane: Estimates are made at FCO level and the ensuing budgets are as yet only partly devolved to embassies and other missions. However, the FCO carries out an annual accounting exercise which provides detailed information on the costs of individual embassies. This forms part of the resource accounts preparation, and for the year 2000–01 will be available this autumn.

"Rogue States"

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of (a) the definition of "rogue state", (b) the states that can be so defined and (c) the threat they present to the UK. [2302]

Mr. Bradshaw: "Rogue state" is generally not a term we would choose to use.

We are concerned by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in several regions including the middle east, South Asia and the Korean Peninsula.

We judge that there is currently no significant threat to the UK from weapons of mass destruction. We continue to monitor developments closely.

Next Section Index Home Page